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Hens/Rooster Numbers

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by TheGourleyManor, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. TheGourleyManor

    TheGourleyManor Just Hatched

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    We got 6 chicks (supposedly all pullets) a while back......end of May, I think. We have 1 Roo for sure. Now, I am thinking we might have another Roo, too. One BA and one RIR. I was okay with the one rooster. I am not sure having 2 out of 6 is a good idea. My kids are attached, since we let them each pick one to name. Our coop has 32 sq ft of floor space with 6 nest boxes and around 6-8 ft of roosting bar. They have all day access to an enclosed yard of 24' x 6', but are closed up at night for now until we build a pop door. We are planning on fencing in a lot more in a couple of months, but we weren't planning on adding any more coop space until spring or summer next year.

    What should we do? Buy more chicks this time of year? Add some adult hens, to make sure they are actually hens this time? Do we have adequate space in the coop to add to our flock? Or is it best to get rid of the beloved "Popcorn"?

    I really hope I am wrong, but "her" tail looks so much different from the other girls. It has more dark feathers that are help upright with some droopy curl towards the end of the feathers. The other girls are straight feathers that stick straight back most of the time and have very little dark coloring.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Posting some photos can help people determine if you have two roosters. With only four hens even one rooster might be too much.
     
  3. TheGourleyManor

    TheGourleyManor Just Hatched

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    This is the best picture I can give you.....The chicken with the darker tail is the one in question. They are siblings and about 15 weeks old.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    The one in front certainly looks like a rooster.
     
  5. TheGourleyManor

    TheGourleyManor Just Hatched

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    That's what I was thinking. So, that means I need to increase my hen numbers in the flock, right? Or tell my 4 year old that we need to get rid of him?
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    It depends on what you want. I would keep no less than 7 hens per rooster and up to 15. Rooster can be swapped out weekly, while cone is kept penned separately, but within the sight.
     
  7. TheGourleyManor

    TheGourleyManor Just Hatched

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    If I get more chicks, when and how do I introduce them to the flock?
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Integration can be easy or hard depending how how much room you have, the more the better. I integrate my chick from 4-8 weeks. I start by penning next to or within the coop so everyone can see them and get used to them. After a week I start letting the chicks out of see how they do.

    A smaller opening can help so the chicks can get back into their pen, but not the bigger ones. I lock them back up if things get rough and than try again the next day. I have lots of room so I don't usually get any troubles and the chicks are occasionally pecked bit mostly ignored. It also helps that the established birds are mature adults, those younger than a year may be rougher.

    I continue to monitor interactions until I feel comfortable leaving them out. I round them up at night for a while until I feel comfortable leaving them out permanently.
     
  9. TheGourleyManor

    TheGourleyManor Just Hatched

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    Do you mean 4 weeks - 8 weeks old? So, it starts at 4 weeks of age and takes about 4 weeks to get them used to each other?

    And how much is lots of room? Our chicken yard is 24' x 8' (I said 6' earlier in the post, but my husband corrected me) for the 6 chickens we currently have. It will be expanded, but not until next spring.

    This flock is all about 15 weeks old right now and were all raised together. What age will the cockerels start to stress the hens? I assume that happens with sexual maturity, but when does that usually occur?


    If I do decide to get rid of the rooster(s), is there a good way/place to rehome them? I hear it is near impossible to get rid of them unless you eat them.

    I apologize for all the questions. We raised a flock of hens for a year a few years ago - all hens. Loved it, but had to move. Now, we are back in a place that we can do it and are giving it a second go around. It is amazing how much there is the learn! And the more I learn, the more I realize how much I DON'T know. :)
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I begin to integrate anywhere from 4-8 weeks of age, whenever they are done needing extra heat. Time of year can dictate how old they are.

    How big is the coop? You will need enough space so the groups can stay away from each other. Your run sounds adequate for now.

    Most roosters reach sexually maturity anywhere between 3-6 months. You will know when you see your hens being mated over and over all day, and you hear them screaming. Some hens will start to hide in the coop.

    This time of year there are lots of extra roosters that everyone wants to find a good home for, but there's not enough homes for them all. Most will be butchered. I prefer to do that as not every new home is a good home.
     

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